Archives For attorney

Angela M. Blythe, attorney, 51, Oakland, Maryland, was convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and two counts of making a false statement to a bank.  Blythe was an attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and West Virginia, with an office in Oakland, Maryland.  She was a settlement attorney in real estate transactions.

According to evidence presented at the nine day trial, from 2000 to 2006, Blythe prepared deeds, mortgages and notes using false identities provided by her co-conspirator.  Blythe recorded those fraudulent documents in Garrett County, Maryland and Preston County, West Virginia, which concealed her co-conspirator’s ownership of the properties.  On at least seven occasions, Blythe also conducted property settlements in which her co-conspirator participated as buyer, seller and/or borrower using the false identities, which Blythe concealed from the lenders. Blythe failed to conduct the settlement transactions as described on the settlement statements and paid over the seller’s proceeds as her co-conspirator directed. Continue Reading…

Michael R. Anderson, 46, attorney, Framingham, Massachusetts, was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $11,048,212 in restitution and forfeit $7,413,712 in connection with a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Dorchester and Roxbury, Massachusetts.  In January 2011, Anderson pleaded guilty to sixteen counts of wire fraud, nine counts of bank fraud, and two counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.   Continue Reading…

Christopher Brecciano, 37, of Stamford, Connecticut was sentenced  to 14 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to defraud financial institutions through an extensive mortgage fraud scheme that involved dozens of properties in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2006 and 2010, Brecciano, while working as an associate at a Stamford law firm, participated in mortgage fraud conspiracy that involved the purchase of numerous single and multi-family properties, primarily in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, Connecticut. Brecciano acted as a closing attorney for at least 50 mortgage loan transactions in which materially false information was provided to mortgage lenders by Brecciano or his co-conspirators. The fraudulent information included false verifications of down payments for real estate transactions, false deeds, and false HUD-1 Forms. In many of the transactions, Brecciano knew that the borrower was a “straw buyer,” and that other individuals intended to control the property and collect rent from the property. In many transactions, Brecciano distributed mortgage loan funds to the straw buyer and other co-conspirators at the closing. Continue Reading…

Ped Abghari, a/k/a “Ted Allen,” 38, Irvine, California, and Justin Romano, 41, of Blue Point, New York, pled guilty for their roles in orchestrating a massive mortgage modification scheme that collectively defrauded over 8,000 homeowners out of over $18.5 million.  Abghari and Romano each pled guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and Abghari also pled guilty to misprision of a felony.  Romano pled on September 14, 2015, and Abghari pled on September 15, 2015, before U.S. District Judge. John F. Keenan.   Continue Reading…

Steven Barry Ruza, 52, Orchard Lake, Michigan and his company, Home Legal Group, Inc., pled guilty to one count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise.  Ruza and his company were accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Michigan residents that were facing mortgage foreclosures. As part of the plea, restitution will be paid to the victims, with the possibility of additional restitution at the judge’s determination.

Ruza and his company promised victims that they could obtain mortgage modifications and save their homes from foreclosure but then did nothing, or very little, to obtain mortgage modifications for the victims.  In many cases, Ruza even filed false documents with the bank.  The victims never received a modification through Ruza and Home Legal Group and most lost their homes to foreclosure. Continue Reading…

Paul Mancuso, 49, Glen Rock, New Jersey, pled guilty in Newark, New Jersey, federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with fraudulent investment schemes that defrauded 15 victims of more than $3 million.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

On August 21, 2014, a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey indicted Mancuso on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud. It also charged Pasquale Stiso, 53, West Harrison, New York, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. Continue Reading…

A father and son schemed with a Chicago attorney and a Lincolnwood businessman to sell $2.9 million in phony mortgages to more than a dozen duped investors, according to a federal indictment.

Albert Rossini, 67, the owner of Devon Street Investments Ltd., Lincolnwood, Illinois plotted with Babajan Khoshabe, 74, Chicago, Illinois, and Khoshabe’s son, Anthony Khoshabe, 33, Skokie, Illinois, to fraudulently induce at least 15 victims into purchasing purported mortgage notes on apartment buildings in foreclosure, according to the indictment. The trio promised that investors would receive rental income from occupants of the buildings, followed by title to the properties at the conclusion of the foreclosure process, the indictment states. In reality, it was a ponzi scheme.  the trio did not own the mortgage notes, and instead used the victims’ funds to make Ponzi-type payments to other investors and pocket the rest, according to the indictment. Continue Reading…

David Zak, attorney, Revere, Massachusetts, and his two businesses Zak Law Offices, P.C., and Loan Modification Group, Inc, have been ordered to pay more than $625,000 for targeting homeowners with deceptive advertisements and demanding thousands in illegal advance fees for mortgage modification and foreclosure relief services they failed to deliver.

At a time when homeowners were struggling to afford their mortgages, this attorney abused his clients’ trust and deliberately exploited their financial circumstances by demanding exorbitant fees based on false promises, leaving these homeowners even more vulnerable,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said. “This judgment puts an end to these deceptive and unfair practices and confirms that those who seek to capitalize on the foreclosure crisis will be held accountable.”  Continue Reading…

Tampa lawyer involved in mortgage rescue scam loses law license

A Tampa lawyer who helped swindle homeowners out of $4.7 million during the mortgage crisis has had his law license revoked by the state Supreme Court.

In July of 2014, the attorneys general for Florida and Connecticut filed a federal lawsuit alleging lawyer Ian S. Berger, along with several others, had scammed struggling homeowners by promising them loan modifications if they signed on to “mass joinder” lawsuits against their lenders.

“He defrauded lenders, his employers, his clients and his friends during a lengthy period of nearly uninterrupted criminal conduct. As an attorney, he has violated everything that his profession holds sacred and embarrassed us all.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendon Conway, in presentence filings, after bank fraud guilty plea by Pennsylvania lawyer Eric Sobkiewicz